Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Posts Tagged ‘health insurance’

From the “Don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” department

People are signing up for health insurance plans while they still can. For years the backers of the Affordable Care Act have fretted over how best to stimulate insurance enrollment on the exchanges so the law could work as designed. They might have finally found a way from the unlikeliest of sources: the election of […]

Republicans take their desperate shot at limiting same sex marriage

Pathetic. After coming out on the losing end of a United States Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, Texas Republican leaders are now looking to the Texas Supreme Court to narrow the scope of that landmark ruling. Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Thursday filed an amicus […]

Republicans join Woodfill’s ridiculous anti-spousal benefits crusade

Shoveling sand against the tide. Fifty Republican members of the Texas Legislature have signed a court brief arguing that the same-sex spouses of government employees shouldn’t be entitled to health insurance and other benefits. The “friend-of-the-court” brief was submitted Friday in a lawsuit brought by anti-LGBT activists against the city of Houston in response to […]

Jared Woodfill never stops never stopping

Here we go again. Fifteen months after the U.S. Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land, anti-LGBT groups in Texas are still fighting the decision. Jonathan Saenz, president of the right-wing lobby group Texas Values, and Houston anti-LGBT activist Jared Woodfill announced Tuesday that they’re again asking the Texas Supreme Court to […]

Obamacare: Still working

Down doobie doo down down… Texas’ rate of uninsured people fell to 17.1 percent in 2015 as part of a steady decline in the share of uninsured residents following the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, according to new Census estimates released Tuesday. The state’s rate of uninsured fell two percentage points from 2014 to […]

State Supreme Court declines to hear lawsuit over city’s same-sex partner benefits

I had totally forgotten this was still a thing that was happening. The Texas Supreme Court has declined to hear a case challenging Houston’s extension of health and life-insurance benefits to same-sex spouses of married employees, calling an apparent end to three years of legal battles over the policy change. Houston began offering employment benefits […]

The Latino health insurance enrollment gap in Texas

We have made great strides in reducing the uninsured rate in Texas thanks to the Affordable Care Act, but there’s still a lot of work to do. The percentage of Hispanics in Texas without health insurance has dropped by 30 percent since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) went into effect, but almost one-third of Hispanic […]

Let’s please get the children covered

Surely that’s not too much to ask. Five nonprofit organizations and community groups in Texas, including three in the Houston area, have been awarded a combined $4.78 million by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to boost efforts to enroll the state’s nearly three-quarters of a million uninsured children, the federal agency announced on […]

Another story on how Texas’ uninsured rate has fallen under Obamacare

Same book, next chapter. A study released Tuesday shows that the rate of Texans without insurance has dropped to its lowest point since the late 1990s because of the Affordable Care Act, Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and the Episcopal Health Foundation reported. Prior to the implementation of the ACA in September 2013, […]

Texans say they favor Medicaid expansion

This comes with a huge “but” attached to it. More than 60 percent of Texans support an expansion of Medicaid here and plan to take those views into the voting booth in November, a new survey commissioned by the Texas Medical Center Health Policy Institute finds. The survey results, unveiled Wednesday at the annual Medical […]

The latest good news/bad news on Texas uninsured numbers

Good news: Texas’ percentage of uninsured residents continues to drop. Bad news: It’s still higher than what the national average was in 2010, the year before the Affordable Care Act was passed. The percentage of Texans without insurance has dropped dramatically since the launch of the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control […]

SCOTUS punts on birth control lawsuit

Wow. Zubik v. Burwell was supposed to be an epic showdown over the power of religious objectors to limit the rights of others. A sequel to the Court’s 2014 decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Zubik involved regulations expanding women’s access to birth control that the conservative justices appeared to endorse in Hobby Lobby — even […]

Feds grant 15 month Medicaid waiver extension

I sure hope they keep the pressure on to expand Medicaid during this time. The Obama administration has agreed to temporarily keep some federal Medicaid money flowing into Texas to help hospitals treat uninsured patients, a relief to health care providers that feared losing the funds over state leaders’ refusal to provide health insurance to […]

Two Medicaid stories

From the Trib: State health officials confirmed Tuesday they have asked the Obama administration to keep a 15-month lifeline of federal Medicaid money flowing into Texas to help hospitals treat uninsured patients. That money would offer temporary relief to health care providers who face losing the funds — some $3.1 billion annually — over state leaders’ refusal to provide government-subsidized health coverage […]

Weekend scandal news roundup

If anything comes from the Texas Rangers investigation into his questionable expenditures, Ag Commissioner Sid Miller would be prosecuted in Travis County. If embattled Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is prosecuted for misusing government funds, his trial would be in Travis County, officials said Friday, despite a new law that sends some corruption cases against […]

If we really cared about improving mental health in Texas

We would have expanded Medicaid at our first opportunity. Federal health officials say people with mental illness and addictions are being left behind in Texas because the state hasn’t expanded Medicaid to more low-income adults. The health care program for the poor is controversial for many Republicans. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that expansion was […]

Once more with SCOTUS and birth control

Here we go. In another major case concerning Texas women’s reproductive care, the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday will consider if the right to religious freedom is broad enough to completely exempt nonprofits with religious objections to birth control from providing women access to it through their insurance plans. The case, formally known as Zubik […]

Why are some people more likely to smoke than others?

From the CDC: American adults who are uninsured or on Medicaid smoke at rates more than double those for adults with private health insurance or Medicare, according to a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in today’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Data from the 2014 National Health Interview Survey […]

Steve Radack supports Medicaid expansion

I have three things to say about this. When Harris County commissioners were asked this week by a member of the public to lower the property tax burden, Steve Radack had a response prepared: tell Austin to let millions of Medicaid dollars flow to the county – then the commissioners might be able to lower […]

Hey, how about another lawsuit against Obamacare?

Sure, why not? Six states filed a new lawsuit Wednesday against the Obama administration over the Affordable Care Act. The complaint that Texas, Wisconsin, Kansas, Louisiana, Indiana and Nebraska filed in the Northern District of Texas takes issue with the Health Insurance Providers Fee assessed to health insurers to cover federal subsidies. The lawsuit says […]

More kids in Texas have health insurance now

Thanks, Obama! The number of uninsured children in Texas fell by almost 100,000 during the first year of full implementation of the Affordable Care Act, signalling a potential trend across all age groups, a new study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation finds. The findings were welcomed in a place with stubbornly high uninsured rates, […]

Yet another record year for Obamacare signups in Texas

It’s like a trend or something. A record 1.3 million Texans signed up for health coverage during the 2016 Affordable Care Act’s enrollment period, topping last year’s number by more than 100,000, according to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department final tally released Thursday. Houston enrolled 346,822 for 2016 during the three-month sign-up period […]

Fewer Texans having trouble paying medical bills than pre-Obamacare

What else can you say but “Thanks, Obama!” Fewer Texans say they have problems paying their medical bills in 2015 compared to 2013, according to a new report released by EHF and Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. The report found that since enrollment began in the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplace (ACA), […]

Medicaid expansion: Still a good idea

I know, right? Fewer low-income residents of Kentucky and Arkansas, two poor states that expanded Medicaid in 2014, reported problems paying medical bills after the coverage expansions, especially compared with residents of Texas, which has rejected the health law. And hospitals in Medicaid expansion states saw a marked decline in the share of patients without insurance, […]

One million plus Texas Obamacare enrollments

It keeps going up. Just over one million Texans had signed up on the federal health insurance exchange as of last Saturday, signaling a steady drumbeat of interest and giving local advocates a chance for some celebration. “I will take it,” Ken Janda, president and CEO of Community Health Choice, a Houston-based non-profit health plan […]

Health insurance exchange open enrollment, Year 3

The challenge, in a nutshell. In rural Borden County, 12 people signed up for Obamacare this year. Livid over the government telling them they must buy something and loath to take anything that looks like a “handout,” the uninsured here are likely to stay that way. As Obamacare’s third open enrollment season began Sunday, this […]

Yet another Obamacare lawsuit

Some things never get old. n Texas’ latest salvo against Obamacare, Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed suit over a fee states must help cover to pay for the sweeping federal health reform law. Texas joins Louisiana and Kansas in suing the Obama administration over the Health Insurance Providers Fee, which Paxton says cost Texas […]

2015 Texas Lyceum poll

Issues first, election stuff to come. From the press release: The 2015 Texas Lyceum Poll Finds:  Immigration remains the most important issue facing the state and Texans support lawmakers’ increased spending on border security. Texans’ views on  gay marriage are changing. Forty nine percent of Texans support gay marriage – up from 29 percent in 2009. […]

We’re still #1!

In uninsured people. For the first time in more than a decade, Texas’ uninsured rate dipped below 20 percent, analysts said [recently] following the release of U.S. Census data. Slightly more than 5 million Texans were uninsured in 2014 — a 700,000 decrease from the year before. That represented a 3-point dip in the percentage […]

Harris Health wants more people to enroll in Obamacare

Who can blame them? Harris County’s public health care agency, responding to a budget crisis, will eliminate more than 19,000 people next year from eligibility for free or nearly free services, hoping most of these patients will obtain coverage through the Affordable Care Act. The board of the agency, Harris Health, voted Thursday to reduce […]

Texas Pulse Poll

Hey look! Someone polled Texas. A statewide poll of Texas likely voters finds that immigration and the economy are the top issues of concern for residents of the Lone Star State. The poll also found that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton lead the Republican and Democratic primaries. Barack Obama is viewed unfavorably by a majority […]

Paxton files amicus brief in HBU contraception lawsuit

Of course he does. Female employees of religious nonprofits should not be given insurance coverage for birth control if their employers object to certain contraceptives on religious grounds, according to a brief filed at the U.S. Supreme Court by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Paxton’s “friend of the court” brief was filed Monday in support […]

The demography of the uninsured in Texas

Another look at those who have been helped by Obamacare in Texas, and those who would be helped if the state wasn’t actively resisting. The states’s uninsured continue to be most likely Hispanic, middle-aged, with low incomes and without a college degree, according to a continuing study tracking the implementation of the health care law […]

Woodfill is still pursuing his anti-same-sex benefits lawsuit

From the inbox and the febrile mind of Jared Woodfill: Last year Houston Judge Lisa Millard granted a temporary injunction and ordered Houston Mayor Annise Parker and the City of Houston to immediately stop recognizing same-sex ‘marriages’ and stop providing benefits to the same-sex couples married in other states. Judge Millard stated, “This court does […]